What’s your charitable dog cause?


When it comes to our spare time, we all find different things to become involved with – different causes grab us for different reasons. Some people get into local, state, or national politics. Some people volunteer with charitable groups after being affected by cancer, heart disease, diabetes, drug addiction.  

Dog people, too, find widely disparate causes to occupy our spare time and dollars. I have one good friend who volunteers for animal rescue organizations in Asia; several who have devoted years to rescuing dogs of a certain breed; and still another whose mission in life is to shut down puppy mills.

I’ve found myself being strongly affected by the plight of unwanted animals in my community. I volunteer at my local municipal shelter, take on unruly adolescents and large litters of puppies to foster, and wrack my brain to find ways to improve the dog adoption rate; that’s my cause. Of course, there are also plenty of “cat people” volunteering at the shelter.

But even among the people who volunteer at my shelter and who share an interest in dogs in particular — we all get “grabbed” by different individual animals and their stories. One person is trying to improve the reputation of pit bulls in society and concentrates on training the pits and pit-mixes. Another person is drawn to the many Chihuahuas and Chihuahua-mixes, and has a knack for finding the unique traits that distinguish one tiny dog from the next. Another pulls as many retriever-type dogs as she can for a breed rescue. It’s just interesting to me, to try to figure out how we all get called to do the volunteer work that we do.

What’s your canine cause? How do you explain it?


  1. I have been a foster since 2004 and have rescued and brought back to health many dogs, but I’ve rescued all my life wherever I’ve seen abuse I hate puppymills and support the abolishment of these torture facilities. I’ve belonged to several rescues, the first was established to rescue puppymill dogs. I also support rescues in Thailand and Romania for abused and tortured dogs. I fight however I can against the dog meat industry. It gives me nightmares. I often can’t sleep at night feeling the pain of these dogs worldwide. I also support my local animal shelter.

  2. I volunteer at my local no-kill animal shelter. It’s a wonderful opportunity to interact with the dogs, socialize them, and get them ready for their forever homes. This is important for shelter dogs. Even if they came from a home setting, living in the shelter without sufficient human and dog interaction can have a negative effect on their mental well-being. I also research and write grant applications for the shelter. My charitable causes are Best Friends for their work toward making all shelters no-kill, American Humane for their work in ending animal cruelty, and Debbie’s Dawgs, an online organization that helps Bassett Hound rescues support senior dogs.

  3. Our community shelter is the only charity I routinely contribute to. I also participate in their various charity events by entering photo contests, walking in their dog walk, or attending local functions.

  4. I founded Rockin P Rescue over 21 years ago and we mainly rescue boxers and boxer type dogs but other breeds as we feel that connection. We are a small group and usually adopt around 100-150 per year. This last year we have been able to build a fabulous kennel and will be able to double or even triple our numbers. I am very excited about the future!! Thank you all for your help with rescue!!

  5. After my big, found, Amstaff passed in 2010, I started volunteering at the local county animal shelter because that’s where those types of dogs are found. Realizing the difference between no-kill and false claims to being it – with no real intention to change – I discovered no-kill rescues. So I’ve walked, socialized, and taken dogs to adoption events over the years. Early on, I started transporting dogs; which is how you get them from places where they are not wanted to places where they are. Unfortunately I’m not able to foster as I now end up with dogs who are “one & only” which is what that Amstaff taught me all about years ago.
    Also, I do mostly in-kind donations to these rescues as I can observe close- up what the dogs need such as specialty foods, very tough toys, etc.

  6. I Started out volunteering with a Boxer Rescue doing events, transports, food pickups etc. after i got my first Boxer. After a few years that rescue became too political and some of us split off and became Mostly Muttz Rescue, the core group still does a lot for Boxers but now we can do Boxer mixes and any other type of dog that needs the help. I still do events and transports i have been able to start to foster a few dogs since my female passed, and we have adopted a few with special needs, i don’t do puppies so the events give me a chance for a puppy fix that i can give back to the foster parents, lol. Mostly Muttz tries to do as much as we can for the special ones be it medical or neuro, we are foster based.

  7. I became aware of Desert Harbor Doberman Rescue after I adopted a wonderful dog from them. Sadly, I lost him at age 4 1/2 to mast cell cancer. Ten days after he passed, my employer of 25 years eliminated my position forcing me into retirement. I decided I needed something worthwhile to focus on and signed up to volunteer with DHDR eventually becoming a foster for them. Later that year I had to undergo knee replacement revision which required multiple surgeries. Finally when I was on the road to recovery, my father passed away. It was only having a dog to foster that helped me through that rough patch.

    Since then, I’ve lost count of the number of dogs that have stayed with me. At the same time, I have seen DHDR grow into a superior organization with highly dedicated volunteers who massively support each other. I have learned so much about the breed I love although it is hard sometimes when the fosters are finally adopted. My current personal dog is one I adopted (aka ‘foster fail’) after fostering him back to health having spent the first 8 years of his life with a back yard breeder, literally spending all his time in a dirt back yard in the Phoenix AZ heat. He had never been in a house before he come to be with us. And just last week, I had the joy of placing a mostly blind dog with some wonderful adopters.

    There are times when doing rescue work is absolutely heartbreaking but the happiness ultimately outweighs the pain.

  8. I started fostering because I had been playing with the idea of adopting another dog – specifically a dog for my husband since our current dog was “my dog”. I thought that fostering would be a great way to “try out” dogs to see what would be the perfect fit. My neighbor volunteered with a newer rescue and encouraged me to apply to foster for them. This rescue was foster-based, but had three dogs who had ended up in boarding. These three dogs were my first three fosters – one at a time, all different breed mixes. Dogs in boarding just don’t seem to get adopted as easily from my experience. They’re not readily available for the public to see and their behaviors often start to break down. Some become cage aggressive, some shut down, and start to give up like the 4-month-old puppy who was my second foster. Some just go stir crazy. My cause is fostering dogs so they don’t have to stay in kennels in boarding. I foster because the reward of seeing these dogs blossom is the greatest feeling in the world, knowing that they are learning to interact and play and socialize with other dogs because I gave them a safe place to learn all that. Knowing that they are learning to trust humans again because I’ve shown them that they are loved and valued. I’ve been fostering for over three years now, and our family finally found another furry member who is 100% my husband’s dog. He was another one that was stuck in boarding – a big old hound dog mix. He is the perfect addition to the family and a great foster uncle to the two pups we’ve fostered since adopting him. This is a dog with unimaginable scars but that has never had a rough word for any human or any dog. It’s a blessing to be around animals who have such huge hearts.

  9. Racing greyhounds stole my heart in the 90s. I adopted a greyhound in 1996, my first dog ever, and soon became aware of their exploitation, neglect and deaths and the racers’ desperate need for medical care, fostering and homes. Their disposition suited our own temperaments and we have adopted several (including one at age 13) and fostered countless hounds over the decades. GREY2K Worldwide has been my hero, spearheading the ban on dog racing in Florida at the end of this year and working to end the cruelty worldwide. Greyhounds led me to GALGOS, the Spanish greyhound, bred in vast numbers in the Spanish countryside and used for rabbit hunting competitions after which most are disposed of (abandoned, hanged, shot, hit by cars, thrown down wells) when the hunting season ends in February. Knowledge of the galgos’ plight in Spain led me to the other category of abused Spanish hunting dogs, the PODENCOS (= “hounds”) which are bred, abused and killed in numbers comparable to the galgos. As is often the case these days, one website or email or posting leads to the exposure of other dogs in desperate need…it never ends.

  10. All my wonderful furry kids (dogs) have been and are curently rescued. I will alsway have a rescued furry kid in my house. My home is their home. I donate monthly to my local ASPCA no kill shelter, and to Second Chance Rescue and to Best Friends.

  11. For years I’ve been sending monthly donations to the people fighting the dog meat trade overseas, and those working to shut down the Yulin dog meat “festival“ in China, no matter how broke I am. When I can I also donate to Puppy Rescue Mission, which works to bring befriended dogs and cats of American soldiers in Afghanistan home to the USA.